Alcohol poisoning is an overdose caused by drinking a large volume of alcoholic beverages over a short time period. One common cause of alcohol poisoning is binge drinking, which is the rapid ingestion of several alcoholic drinks one after another. When heavy drinking causes blood alcohol levels to climb high enough, coma or death can result. Therefore, urgent treatment at a hospital emergency department is necessary. If you believe someone has suffered alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately.
A Answers (3)
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person consumes an excessive amount of alcohol. Alcohol can depress or stop nerve signals that control breathing and the gag reflex that prevents choking; alcohol poisoning is a serious condition that can lead to irreversible brain damage or death if not treated immediately.
Signs of alcohol poisoning include:
- Vomiting. An unconscious person could choke and suffocate from vomiting.
- Passing out, coma, or inability to awaken the person.
- Slow breathing--fewer than 8 breaths a minute.
- Irregular breathing--10 seconds or more between breaths.
- Low body temperature (hypothermia), bluish skin, and paleness.
The level of alcohol in the blood continues to rise even after a person stops drinking. It can take around 30 to 90 minutes for the alcohol to enter the bloodstream, circulate throughout the body, and cause full intoxication. The amount of time depends on how quickly and how much the person drank along with what else is in the stomach.
Drinking coffee, walking or sleeping it off, or taking a cold shower will not help reverse the symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Immediate medical treatment is always needed if you suspect alcohol poisoning.
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Kathleen Handal, MD, Emergency Medicine, answered
Poisoning from any substance is attained when that substance impairs any of your body's normal abilities to function. Alcohol can do this at various amounts dependent on the person's size and the person's liver's ability to function.
Here I am not talking about low alcohol consumption which has positive cardiac and sleep effects just to name two benefits.
Large amounts taken within a short period of time causes poisoning and even death by suppressing breathing. All of us have different tolerances and liver function so the exact amount that would be considered poisoning for one may not be for another.
As with any poison effects start to show and worsen dependent on amount and time from exposure. It takes time to be absorbed into circulation travel to your organs and cause alterations in function. In the brain it suppresses mental alertness, effecting response time and coordination. A hangover is a mild form of alcohol poisoning commonly helped with hydration.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.